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Member Bulletin Time to focus on real value

The World’s Leading Chief Executive Organisation

So, the election is fi nally over and Britain’s coalition government is getting down to diffi cult business. We have some serious challenges ahead and we can expect a steady stream of revelations and bad news in the weeks to come.

prepared to take bold and tough actions

“ Steve Gilroy, Vistage Chief Executive. We should be In this issue

p2 • Social media - hope or hype

p3 • It’s the future Jim, but not as we know it...

p4 • Member stories p6 • Focus - stories, comment and advice

p7 • Chairman’s View p8 • What’s happening

in Vistage

Copyright © 2010 Vistage International, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed or reprinted without the express written permission of Vistage International.

This recession is like no other. The worldwide fi nancial crunch has caused signifi cant downturn across the private sector, and now we’re facing a public sector downturn. Businesses and consumers have been forced to reassess their take on life, their values and their businesses. But where there are challenges, there are also great opportunities. In Vistage, we are fortunate to hear from some of the brightest business minds. We challenge each other and hold ourselves accountable for taking the tough action needed to seize opportunity and be more successful. Now, more than ever, we need to extract value from our Vistage model. Within our Vistage groups, our 1-2- 1 meetings, and through our own refl ections and activities, we should be prepared to take bold and tough actions. We need to promote real value in a rapidly changing business world and turn challenges into opportunities. Here are three things we all need to be doing right now: 1. Re-evaluate your target market and sales approach. If demand has dropped and you’re going after the same target market, then you’re chasing a smaller pot. How many of us have looked in detail at HOW our traditional market has changed? How many of us have gone back to key customers and asked WHY they buy from us, and HOW their needs have changed? What NEW markets could we look

at? What NEW sales behaviours or activities do we need to put in place to refl ect changes or opportunities? The old saying holds true – do what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you always got. 2. Take a good look at your value proposition.

Is your value crystal clear? Do you know why your customers buy from you? Can all of your staff understand and articulate your value proposition? Is your market position clear? Do your message and actions support or weaken your value proposition? In these tough times, there are winners at the bottom end of any market (e.g. Poundland) and winners at the premium end (e.g. Apple) – what matters is that your value is absolutely clear, and supported by everything you say and do. 3. Practice lean and think the unthinkable.

As well as looking at how you grow your business, take a hard look at what is working well and whether there is any ‘slack’. But it’s not just about sizing - there are new business models, new practices, new staffi ng models, new partnering opportunities, new IT solutions in the cloud, new purchasing and fi nance models. We can ‘hunker down’ or we can open our eyes to new approaches that could make our business even more effi cient. It will mean change and it might mean thinking the unthinkable.

At Vistage HQ, we face the same challenges as our members and are always looking for new ways to reach our target audience: we have a new business development team, dedicated to fi nding, qualifying and introducing new prospects to chairs; we are generating new prospects from our partner channel; we have boosted our online presence, including a new web Vistage TV channel launching in July; and we’re rolling out new branded materials with messaging that refl ects current market conditions. Behind the scenes, we’re building a new members’ website, implementing a range of new Chair training for our chairmen, and putting in new IT systems that will enable us to do more with less.

In the next month, we’ll announce a full member survey. I’ll be asking for your direct input on what you value from your membership, what we need to do more of and what we need to do better.

It certainly is a very challenging time to be in business, but it’s also a very exciting time. I value your membership and support, and invite you to contact me directly with your ideas and suggestions.

Steve Gilroy Chief Executive

1 Member Bulletin | Summer 2010

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